Repositioning South Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service
Tourism is a super-growth sector and economic priority for South Australia, with sights firmly set on an $8 billion visitor economy by 2020. Creating jobs and unlocking new economic activity in South Australia’s regions is a key focus. This workshop will describe the ‘eco’ innovations in the government’s commitment to sustainable tourism and regional development including:
- Increasing the number of park rangers, to ensure that national parks continue to attract visitors and play a valuable role in the ongoing conservation and care for our parks and wildlife.
- Creating a new metropolitan national park, Glenthorne National Park, to provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve and revitalise a significant portion of urban space as an environmental and recreational precinct.
- Opening up six reservoirs for the first time, to provide recreational fishing and other leisure activities including walking, cycling, kayaking and sailing.
- Inviting ecologically sustainable development in national parks that is sensitive to the setting, to enable the private sector to provide high quality visitor experiences with flow on benefits to the local economy.
- Improving information and accessibility of national parks, to enhance the recreational and nature-based tourism experiences for people with disabilities.
Key learning outcomes: How South Australia’s newly created “National Parks and Wildlife Service” is:
- reconnecting people with parks, for a range of health and wellbeing benefits;
- responding to the changing needs of visitors and government priorities; and
- collaborating with local government, eNGOs, community groups and the tourism sector to reposition the value of parks.
Chris emigrated to Australia from the UK in 1993 with an honours degree in Marine Geography and a passion for the outdoors. Chris spent his first 10 years working for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as the Director of Tourism and Recreation before moving to South Australia in 2004 to help set up a network of 19 marine parks.
In 2015, Chris led the development of South Australia’s “Nature Like Nowhere Else” strategy and action plan, which remains a key driver for activating nature-based tourism in South Australia.
Chris is currently the State Manager for Parks and Tourism at the Department for Environment and Water and national chair of the Tourism and Parks Agencies Forum (TAPAF).